Sometimes people insist on making the state’s job way too easy. In the case of 28-year-old Riley Allen Mullins, he led the police right to him. He allegedly robbed a woman at the Washington ferry terminal and then decided to add her as a friend on Facebook the next day – umm, what? If someone were to steal your iPod and purse, the last thing they usually want is to be recognized as a suspect. Clearly Mullins wasn’t exactly thinking the same way. He also made the incredible mistake of letting a triangle tattoo on his neck show, which is how his victim recognized him when he added her on Facebook. Social media can be a powerful tool and it’s important to remember that in the case of those who are either suspects or have been charged with a crime.
If you’re ever a suspect or have been charged with a crime, it’s advisable to leave all information regarding your case off of the Internet. If police are monitoring your social media while your case is commencing, they can actually use anything that you say on your social media site against you – it’s easy for you to incriminate yourself using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site; it happens all the time. If you’re involved in a criminal case against another person, it’s also best not to add them on social media or have any type of interaction with them outside of the court case. This can cause conflicts of interest and also possibly cause you to incriminate yourself further. Never post videos or pictures of yourself engaging in illegal activities.
A Hawaii man learned that the hard way recently when he posted a video of himself drinking a beer while driving. Clearly this is not legal, but he put the proof of himself engaging in an illegal activity for all to see on the Internet – including police officers. Don’t think that you can just post something and delete it later. Courts are allowed to subpoena deleted content from social media carriers. Your information online never really goes away and can come back to haunt you if you ever post it on the Internet. It’s very important that you’re careful about what you post and know your rights regarding social media laws.
Social media is still a fairly new means of communication and people are having to adapt and learn about it every day. As far as law is concerned, you should always use basic common sense – don’t post about illegal activities (whether joking or serious) and leave incriminating pictures off of your social media sites. If you’d like to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of sharing information or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation with Bruce Robinson & Associates, Call (443)-524-7395 or click today.
Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/tech/social-media/online-oversharing-arrests/, http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/weird/Robbery-Suspect-Friends-Victim-on-Facebook–261444051.html?_osource=SocialFlowFB_DCBrand